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Sun, 24 Sep 2023
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Earth Changes


What You Never Hear About Global Warming

Most people are only being allowed to hear part of the story when it comes to global warming.

Global warming skeptics have been compared with holocaust deniers, and media reports routinely present the issue as "settled." Those opposed to the global warming agenda are being openly mocked and attacked - but they are being mocked and attacked based on a straw-man misrepresentation of their position.

Magic Wand

Migrating songbirds learn survival tips on the fly

Migrating songbirds take their survival cues from local winged residents when flying through unfamiliar territory, a new Queen's University-led study shows.

It's a case of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," says biologist Joseph Nocera, who conducted the research while working as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen's under the supervision of Biology professor Laurene Ratcliffe.

Avoiding predators can substantially increase a bird's chances of survival during migration, notes Dr. Nocera. But to do that, it first has to recognize who its predators are. "We believe some prey use social cues from other animals to gain information about potential predators," he says.

Findings from the study are published on-line in the current issue of the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

©Joseph Nocera
Worm-eating warblers breed in North America, but winter in Central America. While migrating, they frequently inspect "mobs" of local winged residents, Queen's University biologists discovered.


When Threatened, A Few African Frogs Can Morph Toes Into Claws

Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators.

The unusual defense mechanism is described by Harvard's David C. Blackburn, James Hanken, and Farish A. Jenkins, Jr., in a forthcoming issue of the journal Biology Letters.

©David C. Blackburn
Close-up of the foot of a living Trichobatrachus robustus showing the white bony claws protruding from the tips of the toes.

"It's surprising enough to find a frog with claws," says Blackburn, a doctoral student in Harvard's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. "The fact that those claws work by cutting through the skin of the frogs' feet is even more astonishing. These are the only vertebrate claws known to pierce their way to functionality."


US: Climate change threatens two-thirds of California's unique plants

Two-thirds of California's unique plants, some 2,300 species that grow nowhere else in the world, could be wiped out across much of their current geographic ranges by the end of the century because of rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns, according to a new study.

The species that cannot migrate fast enough to higher altitudes or cooler coastal areas could face extinction because of greenhouse gas emissions that are heating the planet, according to researchers.

Comment: The dangers of climate change are real, but the standard global warming scenario as explained in the vast majority of media outlets leaves something to de desired. Read some comments on one of the most prominent of the global warming "demonologists" here:

Global Warming Demonology

Bizarro Earth

Update: Dozens on Philippine sunken ferry rescued; 700 plus still missing

Bodies in life jackets washed up on islands and drifted at sea Wednesday as divers resumed the grim work of exploring the inside of a Philippine ferry that capsized during a powerful typhoon.

While the divers have only found bodies so far, officials were not willing to give up hope of finding more survivors among the more than 800 people missing since the seven-story ferry listed and went down in a half-hour or less Saturday.

"There is a slim chance that we can still find survivors" insided the ferry, coast guard Lt. Cmdr Rogelio Villanueva said. "As the days pass, indeed the chance is getting slimmer."

Better Earth

US: Saharan dust may have you wheezing

Texas - If you're coughing and sneezing more than usual this week, you can blame it on the Sahara Desert.

An enormous cloud of Saharan dust stretching from the African coast to the Gulf of Mexico will begin moving through the Dallas-Fort Worth area today and could blanket much of North Texas off and on through next week, said Bryan Lambeth, senior meteorologist at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.


Pandas evacuated from earthquake-hit area in China

Pandas living in an earthquake-hit part of southwestern China have been evacuated to temporary shelters due to the continuing threat of landslides and other hazards, a forestry bureau report said Tuesday.


China earthquake missing rises to 18,522

The number of people missing from China's massive earthquake has risen abruptly by more than 1,000 state media reported Monday.

Cloud Lightning

US: Waterlogged levee under pressure from Mississippi River

WINFIELD, Missouri - The weakest spot left along the swollen Mississippi River may be the Pin Oak levee, a barrier so tenuous that soil slides down its slope.

Only National Guard soldiers and firefighters in life vests are allowed to stack sandbags, because volunteers and heavy equipment could sink. A single muskrat recently created a geyser of riverwater by digging into the berm.

Cloud Lightning

LA resorts to cloud-seeding in attempt to relieve drought

Heaven forfend that the good folk of Los Angeles should have to stop watering their lawns or rinsing the suds off their shiny cars even if the city, indeed the entire state of California, is officially now in the grip of a drought. If we can't save water, then let's wring more of the stuff out of the clouds, by seeding them.

Cloud-seeding, you may be thinking, went out of fashion decades ago, perhaps in 1969 when the hippies swore that it was CIA scientists fiddling with nature who caused the downpours at the Woodstock music festival. Not so. In fact, it seems to be more in vogue than ever, in California and elsewhere.

Cloud seeding
©The Independent

Comment: See: Russia: Sometimes it rains cement.